Special Edition, 2-Disc Special Edition
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''A wonderful film that moves on waves of feeling. Francesco Rosi, who has one of the greatest compositional senses in the history of movies, keeps you in a state of emotional exaltation. A simple image has the kind of resonance that most directors never achieve.'' (Pauline Kael, New Yorker)
Francesco Rosi established himself as one of the greatest chroniclers of Italy's stormy postwar history with such riveting classics as Salvatore Giuliano, The Mattei Affair and Illustrious Corpses. Three Brothers (Tre fratelli) explores similarly knotty social and political territory through the seemingly straightforward story of three siblings returning to their native southern Italy to pay homage to their late mother. However, their various professions a judge in Rome (Philippe Noiret), a spiritual counsellor in Naples (Vittorio Mezzogiorno), a factory worker in Turin (Michele Placido) have a profound effect on their response to this reunion.
Arrow Academy is proud to present this powerful, Oscar-nominated film in a brand new 2K restoration.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring an essay by Professor Millicent Marcus, a 1981 interview with Rosi and a selection of contemporary reviews (first printing only)
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The film explores the inner workings of the three Italian brothers whose mother had just recently died. Each brother is completely different in regards to career, personality and personal ambitions. Two of the three brothers are very positive and professional in nature but the third one is on the negative side and even the wrong side of the law in some cases. It is very interesting to watch the family dynamics of this Italian family. Overall, it is a wonderful "slice of life" film set in Italy that truly is entertaining and well-done on all levels. CAC St. Louis, LLC gives this movie 5-stars for Italian drama.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to the Cultural Arts Center of St. Louis if you would like to discuss this review in more detail or if you have a product to be reviewed; please send us your inquires. Thank you and we hope to hear from you. Respectfully, Linsey A. Daman, Executive Director, Cultural Arts Center of St. Louis, LLC.
The death of their mother brings Raffaele, Rocco and Nicola back together to their small farming village in southern Italy, where their father, Donato, is planning the funeral. Out of touch with each other and the simple lives they left behind, each man brings along their fair share of emotional baggage. Nicola is frustrated with an impending labor dispute at work and an impending divorce at home. Raffaele, a famous judge, is caught between the commitment to his principles and the safety of his family. While Rocco, a quiet bachelor seems at peace with his almost monastic life.
Their patriarch is having a hard time dealing with the loss of his wife, flashing back to small moments they shared together and reminiscing over old photographs with Nicola's young daughter. As each man reconnects with his past, they struggle with which path they should take in the future...and maybe finding the answers are much closer to home.
Three Brothers is a uniquely Italian film made up of uniquely personal stories. One could certainly understand the family drama without a minor in political science, but Rosi isn't pulling any punches when it comes to commenting on current events. Raffaele's moral conundrum in particular - whether or not to take on a dangerous case that may threaten the life of his family - is central to the cinematic debate. And Nicola's support of violent protest to bring about improvements in the workplace reflects another hot topic of the time.
But underneath it all is an almost Bergman-like meditation on the accumulation of quiet moments, the roads less traveled and unexpected u-turns that shape our lives. Rosi's camera lingers on buildings still beautiful amidst the decay, farm trails that disappear into the horizon and landscapes that only improve with memory. It's Nicola's young daughter who seems to understand the magic in these simple pleasures; suggesting Rosi's message just might be we should all find something to live for instead of something to die for.
An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981, Three Brothers is actually making its home video premiere thanks to Arrow Films' new blu-ray / dvd combo. The new 2K transfer cleans up quite nicely after the opening credits, although it seems inherently grainy from the source. Audio (in Italian with subtitles) is a bit compressed and shallow sounding but an hour-long audio interview with the late director and collectible booklet are included as extras.
The story is of 3 brothers who have lost their emotional bond and must deal with it after being reunited at their mothers funeral. Charles Vanel (Wages of Fear - also plays a great cameo in Rosi's 'Illustrious Corpses') plays their father and Philippe Noiret's Judge character brings in a resonance and subtext of 70's Italian terrorism that plays rather freshly in America post 9/11.
Make no mistake, this is an all-star cast, with no American scenery chewing or faux sentiment. Vittorio Mezzogiorno is virtually unknown in the U.S. and that is a crime...watch this 20 times :)
The brothers arrive with all the anxieties and fears of living life in the big city: one brother is a judge fearful of terrorist persecution; another is a teacher at a school for delinquints who sees himself saving the world; and the third is a factory worker who won't be pushed around by the bureaucracy and whose marriage is failing.
This third brother brings his young daughter with him, and only she and Vanel appreciate the simple, saner way of life on the farm. Every scene is packed with emotion, and those scenes with Vanel, especially the two in which he remembers his deceased wife, are utterly beautiful. Watching this movie is a very moving experience, wise and lyrical, not soon to be forgotten. Excellent in every way.
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